6 Baltimore schools, no students proficient in state tests

A Project Baltimore investigation has found five Baltimore City high schools and one middle school do not have a single student proficient in the state tested subjects of math and English.

BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- A Project Baltimore investigation has found five Baltimore City high schools and one middle school do not have a single student proficient in the state tested subjects of math and English.

We sat down with a teen who attends one of those schools and has overcome incredible challenges to find success.

Navon Warren grew up in West Baltimore. He was three months old when his father was shot to death. Before his 18th birthday, he would lose two uncles and a classmate, all gunned down on the streets of Baltimore.

“I’ve lost a lot of people, so I’m used to it. It hurts,” Warren said. “I just chose not to show it. I just keep it in. You just have to live on and keep going on every day. You have to do it somehow.”

Despite his tremendous loss, Warren is set to graduate this year from Frederick Douglass High School. It’s a school where only half the students graduate and just a few dozen will go to college. Last year, not one student scored proficient in any state testing.

“That’s absurd to me. That’s absurd to me,” says Warren’s mother Janel Nelson. “That’s your teachers report card, ultimately.”

Project Baltimore found Frederick Douglass is not alone. Four other city high schools and one middle school also have zero students proficient.

The schools are:

  • Booker T. Washington Middle School
  • Frederick Douglass High School
  • Achievement Academy at Harbor City
  • New Era Academy
  • Excel Academy at Francis M. Wood High
  • New Hope Academy


High school students are tested by the state in math and English. Their scores place them in one of five categories – a four or five is considered proficient and one through three are not. At Frederick Douglass, 185 students took the state math test last year and 89 percent fell into the lowest level. Just one student approached expectations and scored a three.

Despite the challenges at his school, Warren found a path to higher education. He’s the reigning Baltimore City 50 and 100 freestyle champion who competed at the junior Olympics, finishing in fourth place. In the fall, he will leave the streets of Baltimore and head to Bethany College in West Virginia, where he will swim.

“It’s exciting for him to get out of the city and exciting for him to start a new chapter in his life,” says Nelson.

Warren told FOX45, he believes zero students are proficient at Frederick Douglass, because the state tests are more advanced than what the students are learning in class.

Editor’s Note: We spoke with the executive director of teaching and learning for Baltimore City Schools about this data. She told us some of those students might be considered proficient, even though they did not score a four or five on the state tests. Baltimore City Schools later told us that was an error in statement.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off

Trending